About a month or so ago, I met up with my friend Emma Imsirovic to have a photo shoot that would empower her as an individual and more importantly as a woman of the 21st century. We discussed different concepts, locations and make up, only to come to a grinding halt at the topic of what to wear.
We both wanted the shoot to be sensually provocative yet tastefully captivating. Suddenly I was thrown into a very dark and anxious head space that probably most woman experience on a daily basis while getting dressed before they leave their home; “will people think I’m a slut, will people judge my body, will I be ridiculed, will I be harassed, will I be safe if I wear this?” These are some of the questions that Emma battled with while we set up the location in her living room. I had never felt more anxious for someone ever in my life. How could my friend be so systemically worried about what society would deem as a plausible outfit ensemble for a photo shoot?
It was then that I realized that I had not worked hard enough to raise awareness for women and their right to freedom of self expression through fashion, and so, I began thinking about it. Here are my thoughts in the most cohesive manner possible.
For centuries and centuries women have been sexualized yet have close to no sexual rights. The very force that enables the reproduction of mankind is hypersexualized and then demonized for being sexually active.
From as early as preschool young girls are taught to take precautions while climbing up a jungle gym because god-forbid a 4 year old boy should see her pink panties under her little dress.
In primary school, girls are scolded and disciplined for not having the correct length school dress which could possibly cause the boys playing soccer to fall under a trance and trip over themselves.
In highschool, girls are given detention for wearing sports shorts that are too short or a sports bra that doesn’t conceal their nipple because they just might start a riot of horny teenage boys.
In the workplace, women are given disciplinary hearings because their tasteful lace top is too revealing, their pencil skirt with the back slit is too short, their cashmere cardigan needed to be buttoned up at least three times more, their suede stilettos are too provocative or their red lipstick is too sultry – these are distracting their male colleagues which means the firm’s efficiency is decreased.
In public when a woman wants to breast feed her child, she is shunned from the innocent eyes of young children and faithful men as she is showing her breast to the world to see and must be stopped immediately!
How have we come to allow society, which for centuries has proven itself to be a very chauvinistic one at that, define what makes a woman promiscuous, define what makes breast feeding unnatural, define what makes a sexually active woman a whore, define what makes an attractive woman a seductress and define what makes rape justifiable.
It is time for us as a society to erase the ancient unwritten rules that define women. It is not our place to reinvent new rules and implement them and uphold them, rather uphold an open minded mentality so that generations after us are free to be themselves.
Thank you for reading, come back tomorrow for the final blog post in this five part mini series that celebrates women.
Take care and stay blessed. Xx